Copper Mountain Mine, Princeton’s largest employer, is the victim of a ransomware attack according to a release on the company’s website.
There have been no safety or environmental incidents resulting from the attack, which occurred late on Dec. 27, the release states.
The mill has been temporarily shut down, proactively, while officials determine the effect of the attack on its control systems.
“The company quickly implemented its risk management systems and protocols in response to the attack. The company has isolated operations, switched to manual processes, where possible.”
The mine is working with authorities to investigate the source of the attack.
According to the province’s Information Security Branch (ISB), ransomware is a form of malicious code or malware that infects a computer or network and spreads rapidly to encrypt the data. This malware makes the data inaccessible to the users and the criminals responsible will demand payment from the user in order to have their files unencrypted and returned. The payment is often requested in Bitcoin or other electronic currency.
The ISB says there are three ways computers are commonly attacked.
• Email – the individual clicks on a malicious link or attachment in a phishing email.
• Malvertising – the individual visits a site that displays infected advertisements
• Drive-by-Downloading – the individual visits a legitimate or illegitimate website with an exploit that has not been patched. This means that simply opening the website will run the ransomware without the user knowing.
Copper Mountain Mine has more than 400 employees.
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